Okay I think I'm gonna go ahead with training Dreams to drive. We'll see how it goes lol … once I get him going I'll put it in my journal. Since all my driving gear went with Thunder to Florida, I'm going to have to get creative for Dreams' driving training.
I horde rope like some sort of nylon-polypropylene-cotton miser, so I made some thin driving lines out of 1/4" braided poly. I figured I'd use that because it was light, and I'll be wearing gloves anyway so I didn't need to use anything nice like cotton that wouldn't burn my hands if he decides to lose his brain at some point. Back spliced a scissor snap on the bit ends (I absolutely LOATHE bit snaps as a general rule, but for this sort of thing they really do come in handy) and I don't have pictures but I thought they turned out nice. Each rein is 24 feet so I may end up cutting them shorter, not sure yet.
I was watching a Barry Hook video and he had a horse that tends to poke his nose out like Dreams does, and he had some simple elastic side reins made up that helped gently teach the horse where to carry his head. I'm not too concerned about head and nose placement at the moment but I had some extra scissor snaps, so I picked up 10 feet of elastic rope at Lowe's and made a pair of side reins. The rope is only about 1/8" in diameter so it's pretty easy to stretch, but I figure if Dreams needs more than that I have enough length to double it and double the force needed to stretch it. I sincerely doubt I'll need more stretch power than single ply though, Dreams has quite a soft mouth. Those side reins won't get used till later, but I figured since I'm furloughed I might as well make them now so I have a pair.
Now I'm trying to decide what to do for the rest. I don't have a surcingle but I figured I could use a saddle for rein rings/attaching poles to drag/hanging noisemakers like milk jugs full of rocks like I did for Thunder, so I'm all good there. I have a breastcollar I can use for actual pulling, if I need that, so good there. I figured I could make breeching and a crupper out of rope? I don't have any cotton, but I do have some very soft 3 strand poly that's 1/2" or 5/8" wide or so. Soft breeching is less important but do you think that would suffice for a crupper? Obviously it'll burn if it gets pulled but it shouldn't be going anywhere so I think that should be soft enough to use under his tail? Dreams has never felt anything down there while he's moving lol so desensitizing to that should be fun.
I'm not going to jury-rig a blind bridle. I figure I'll get him going in an open bridle, and if he can progress through everything I did with Thunder without blinkers, he ought to make a pretty darn good driving horse and I can go out and spend the money on an actual harness at that point. He ought to move through the training fairly quickly … teaching him verbal commands should take some time since at this point the only word he understands is 'whoa' but he's reasonably intelligent so I'm not worried there. I'll have to make a point to take him riding downtown so I can desensitize him to vehicles, since he still gets his panties in a bunch when cars are coming at him. But again, it's not his fault, I just haven't made it a priority, so again shouldn't take long. But he's already dragged a log, he's already been through the White Trash Desensitizing Extravaganza, so all the basic stuff should progress fairly quick-like.
Obviously I can make traces/tugs/holdbacks etc. out of rope so no issues with the rest. I'll have to order a singletree once I start work again … I always meant to do it when I was driving Thunder but his breeder just let me borrow hers. I won't need that right away but it'll come in handy once I start getting to the good stuff like dragging a tire. I still have my pile of desensitizing garbage … tarps, feed bags, bottles filled with rocks, pool noodles, party poppers, fireworks, bags filled with empty soda cans, metal plates to drag on asphalt … oh yeah. We gonna have a lot of fun now. : )